As a bogler's apprentice, 10-year-old Birdie has faced down plenty of monsters lurking in the chimneys, wells, and other dark places of Victorian London. She serves as bait, singing sweetly to lure the bogles out so her master, the well-seasoned Go-Devil Man Alfred Bunce, can kill them with his trusty spear. Enter the wealthy folklorist Miss Eames, who is determined to find more scientific ways of drawing out the monsters, and Birdie fears that her livelihood may be threatened by the well-meaning lady.
Meanwhile, orphans are disappearing and a bogle is suspected, but Alfred and Birdie discover something even more sinister at work. The first in a projected trilogy, this book treats readers to a lively, engaging story with an endearing protagonist at its center. Capable, forthright, and street-wise, Birdie fairly leaps off the page with pluck, intelligence, and courage. Historical details are woven in to ensure that readers are firmly ensconced in Victorian London, where bogles may be waiting to snatch unsuspecting children, but they are certainly not the only danger to be had.
The well-paced story builds to an exciting climax as each bogle encounter raises the stakes and Birdie and Alfred face a decision that will change their lives. While this particular adventure is wrapped up nicely, readers will be delighted that the stage is set for future bogling exploits.
©2013 Catherine Jinks (P)2014 Listening Library
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